Incensed at the sports ministry’s ‘settlement’ between Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said on Friday that they will take away the hosting rights of international tournaments from the country if the current circumstances continue to prevail.
New Delhi is scheduled to host the Champions Trophy in December and the men’s and women’s 2012 Olympic qualifying tournaments early next year. FIH president Leandro Negre, however, said that ‘as on Friday, India cannot host the tournaments and the FIH will start preparing a Plan B’.
Negre added the compromise plan announced by the ministry does not comply with their statutes, which does not permit a member to share or transfer its powers to a body that is not a member of FIH.
India’s participation in international tournaments, too, remains under a cloud. It depends on how sports minister Ajay Maken’s meeting with Negre goes. “We do not want to penalise the athletes but we need to resolve this issue. So, it very much depends on the discussions with the minister,” a FIH spokesman said.
Negre has called for an ‘urgent’ meeting with Maken, and the presidents of HI (Mariamma Koshy) and IOA (VK Malhotra). Both, Koshy and Malhotra, are acting presidents of the respective bodies. The date of the meeting has not yet been decided.
"Indian hockey is in a total mess,” Negre told DNA from Lausanne. “We had derecognised the IHF in 2000. It is unacceptable to us that a body that is not under our governance will be sharing the power. How can the (sports) minister come to a compromise without our consent? We will not go ahead with the tournaments in India if the situation doesn’t improve,” he said.
With HI and IHF at loggerheads, the ministry, as a temporary fix, decided to transfer the governance authority from HI to a new ‘joint executive committee’ controlled by HI and the IHF. Negre dismissed the committee, saying it was “ridiculous to have something like that.” HI secretary general Narendra Batra, who is out of country, wasn’t available for comment while IHF president RK Shetty said he wasn’t aware of what the FIH had said and hence wouldn’t make any statement.
Sports ministry joint secretary, Injeti Srinivas, refuted FIH’s claims. “We haven’t heard from them yet. But if they have any misapprehensions, then we will clarify it. However, we do not need to take their consent for the decisions we have to take. This is our internal matter and we can handle it,” Srinivas said.